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The University of Southampton

MUSI1002 Antique Music Roadshow 1: Materials of Music History 1500- 1750

Module Overview

Offering a broad overview of Western music in the Renaissance and Baroque periods, this module will also allow you to develop your academic writing skills. Lectures survey particular styles and genres of the period, including the polyphonic Mass, the madrigal, the sonata, the concerto, the cantata, and opera seria, while follow-up seminars focus on individual pieces of music, and provide students with the opportunity to practise their analytical and writing skills in small groups.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

introduce you to the main musical forms, techniques and styles in use, and issues relating to music before the common-practice period • to furnish you with a ‘mental library’ of pieces in common styles to which you can refer in subsequent musical study • to provide a basic overview of early music that will prepare you successfully to follow specialised 2nd- and 3rd-year option modules devoted to specific styles and genres

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the principal forms, techniques and styles of European art music from the period 1500-1750
  • basic principles of writing about music and music history
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • use word processing software to produce your work to an appropriate academic standard
  • use internet tools such as Blackboard to manage aspects of your own learning
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • describe the principal characteristics of genres such as the polyphonic Mass, motet, cantata, and opera, in this period
  • demonstrate aural recognition of important Renaissance and Baroque styles


This module is a broad overview of Western music in the Renaissance and Baroque periods, with an emphasis on listening and general style characteristics. Lectures and group activities provide ‘snapshots’ of particular styles and genres, including the polyphonic Mass, the madrigal, the sonata, and the concerto, the cantata and opera seria. The main materials of the course are a linked set of online recordings, score anthologies, and listening guide which provide a programme of listening and study for the entire semester; lectures will be built around the same pieces included in the set, allowing for group discussion and analysis of the materials learnt in independent study.

Special Features

Your knowledge and understanding of Renaissance and Baroque musical styles and genres will be developed through familiarity with the course recordings and scores, and subsequent discussion of their important features. Your listening skills will be enhanced by studying the core repertory of recordings, and will be assessed (informally) through practice quizzes in seminars, and (formally) through the listening examination. Your writing and analytical skills will be developed and assessed (informally) through practical exercises in seminars and in your own study and (formally) through the written assignments.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • lectures • small group work • IT work using Blackboard Learning activities include • group work exercises (in lectures and tutorials) • individual study and listening • accessing and interacting with online resources Innovative or special features of this module • a custom-made score anthology and set of recordings (available via Blackboard) of the set works

Follow-up work42
Preparation for scheduled sessions24
Completion of assessment task60
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Trevor Herbert (2001). Music in Words: A Guide to Researching and Writing about Music. 

Donald J. Grout and Claude Palisca. A History of Western Music. 


Assessment Strategy

Assessments designed to provide informal, on-module feedback • practice exam questions distributed through Blackboard • online group discussions via Blackboard • peer assessment through group work activities


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (1000 words) 30%
Essay  (1000 words) 30%
Examination  (120 minutes) 40%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

Students are encouraged to obtain, if possible (also recommended for MUSI 1003), Trevor Herbert, Music in Words: A Guide to Researching and Writing about Music [Cost: around £20]

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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